Malaysian duo aims for improved showing at CIMB Classic

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Malaysia’s Danny Chia and Nicholas Fung will be seeking to better their track record at the US$7 million CIMB Classic which starts at the TPC Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

The prospect of coming up against a formidable field that features two of the world’s top five players in the elite 78-man field no longer fazes the Malaysian pair, who have vowed to put up a strong performance.

Fung’s maiden breakthrough on the Asian Tour has been the highlight of his 2017 so far and he will be eager to ride on that wave of positivity for a better showing on home soil this week.

Chia, a two-time Asian Tour winner, will also be determined to follow up on his tied-11th place finish in Chinese Taipei last week with another performance he can be proud of in front of the home fans.

Two-time defending CIMB Classic champion and world number four Justin Thomas will headline the elite field alongside world number three Hideki Matsuyama at this week’s CIMB Classic. 

China’s Li Hao tong will also be making his debut at the Malaysian showpiece where he aims to create another impression on the global stage.

Did you know? 

  • Chia’s best result was a tied-13th finish at the 2011 edition while Fung’s 63rd place finish in 2013 remains his best showing so far.
  • Malaysia’s Chia will be making his sixth appearance at the CIMB Classic. Chia qualified for the event by winning the CIMB National Championship in July which allocated one of the two sponsor’s exemptions for Malaysian golfers.
  • He has two top-10 results in 2017 and finished tied 11th at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC) in Chinese Taipei last week.
  • Ranked 287th on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), Fung earned his place at the CIMB Classic as the highest ranked non-exempt Malaysian.
  • He won his first Asian Tour title at the Queen’s Cup in Thailand in June.
  • Apart from the win, Fung has no top-10 results so far this year. He enjoyed top-20 finishes in Chinese Taipei in the last two weeks.
  • China’s Li Hao tong will be making his first start at the CIMB Classic. Li’s best finish this year came at The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, where he finished third with a closing 63.


Players’ Quotes

Danny Chia (Mas)

It’s always great to play at home. I get to stay in my house with the family, and plus this tournament is a special event where all the top players in the world are playing. In 2011, I was more familiar with the golf course at The Mines because I played there very often.  But now that they have switched the golf course to TPC Kuala Lumpur, I’m not so familiar with the golf course.  But for the last one and a half year, I’ve been playing here quite frequently, so I’m feeling more comfortable with the golf course and I’m feeling good about the week.

I’ve a deep passion for golf.  I like to play.  If I continue to push myself, I’ll have a chance to improve.  And especially at my age right now, if I don’t push myself, I think I’ll retire really soon.  So to prevent that, I keep pushing myself every day. So, I really enjoy this kind of event where I get a chance to play with the best players in the world, see where I can improve in my game as compared to them and move on to another level.

Nicholas Fung (Mas)

This is my third time appearance at the CIMB Classic and I’m very excited and look forward to the week.  It helps that I’ve been playing well this year.  I’ve been practicing hard and have made some changes to my swing. I feel more confident with my swing as I’m beginning to get some distance with my tee shots, hitting 10 to 15 yards longer. Whenever I tee up, I want to win. That’s what I want.  But I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself especially this week when I’m playing at home and having so many supporters coming out to support us. So we don’t want to disappoint them and we just do our best to beat them.  That’s what we want.

Li Hao tong (Chn)

Golf course looks fantastic, condition is great and hopefully enjoy this week. I had a week off in China so mentally, I’m quite relaxed now. I’m feeling very confident after The Open Championship. On the final day at The Open Championship, I thought it was just like any other normal day. I enjoyed the front-nine and when I made a couple of birdies later, I thought I was probably going to do something special. I was happy I got to play with Ernie Els. I was just disappointed I didn’t get into the Presidents Cup.


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